Local ancestry at APOE modifies Alzheimer’s disease risk in Caribbean Hispanics

INTRODUCTION: Although the relationship between APOE and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is well established in populations of European descent, the effects of APOE and ancestry on AD risk in diverse populations is not well understood.
METHODS: Logistic mixed model regression and survival analyses were performed in a sample of 3067 Caribbean Hispanics and 3028 individuals of European descent to assess the effects of APOE genotype, local ancestry, and genome-wide ancestry on AD risk and age at onset.
RESULTS: Among the Caribbean Hispanics, individuals with African-derived ancestry at APOE had 39% lower odds of AD than individuals with European-derived APOE, after adjusting for APOE genotype, age, and genome-wide ancestry. While APOE E2 and E4 effects on AD risk and age at onset were significant in the Caribbean Hispanics, they were substantially attenuated compared with those in European ancestry individuals.
DISCUSSION: These results suggest that additional genetic variation in the APOE region influences AD risk beyond APOE E2/E3/E4.